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First Look: The Skinny

July 21, 2011

Patrik-Ian Polk

How many of you know Patrik-Ian Polk? He’s sort of the out Tyler Perry, if you will. And I mean that as both an insult and a compliment. Polk, a writer, producer and director, has just released the trailer for his latest project, The Skinny (previous ones include Punks, Noah’s Arc, Noah’s Arc: Jumping the Broom), after filming in and around Harlem. There were even scenes shot in my living room Billie’s Black just last week. And as much as I recognize his stereotypical characters, I have to shrug it off and say that most movie-makers have stereotypical characters, and as Sandra Kolka always says, “stereotypes don’t fall from trees; they have to come from somewhere.” Just like with Perry, I get frustrated with the way in which he tells his story and the acting he pulls out of his actors, but also as with Perry, I am glad to see someone telling stories that aren’t being told anywhere else. It’s an almost even trade. Perry keeps Tasha Smith busy; Polk keep Darryl Stephens busy. Perry doesn’t win awards; Polk does. It’s interesting, as I don’t think all gay men act like the ones portrayed in Polks’ films, but at the same time, I certainly know those guys. Besides, who doesn’t like watching two beautiful men kiss?

The story: four friends from Brown unite in NYC (Harlem, specifically) for one of those weekends that rarely happen in real life, but people in movies always manage to make it happen. Beautiful people do stupid things, mostly because of the alcohol they consume and the decisions they allow their reproductive organs to make. There’s an audience. I am a part of it. I will be there to watch the finished project. Mr. Polk, I wish you well.

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